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President Trump Faces Betrayal by AMI; John Mccain's Decision to Stop His Cancer Treatment; Pope Francis Addressed the Latest Sexual Abuse Allegations on Catholic Church, Survivors of Sexual Abuse Speak Up; Bad Week for Trump Presidency, Mueller Investigation; Tropical Storm Lane Causes Heavy Rains; U.S. China Trade War Intensifies. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired August 25, 2018 - 08:00   ET



BRAD SMITH, PRESIDENT, MICROSOFT: I don't think anybody should sit back in 2018 and say, "Oh, this is just a continuation of the kinds of things that we've experienced in the past." To the contrary, we are seeing new technology approaches, we are seeing new threats, we are seeing innovation. We shouldn't wait for the next surprise to wake up later and say we didn't take this seriously enough.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN ANCHOR: Now, executives from Facebook and Twitter are expected to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee next month to answer questions about their rules, protecting elections from misinformation. But this all comes just as Facebook's recently departed Chief Security Officer warned it's already too late to protect the upcoming mid- term elections from online interference, Victor, Christi.


UNIDENTIFED MALE: He knows everything about Donald, in terms of the money trail by Allen Weisselberg.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: He knows every single financial transaction.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: Donald trusted him. He was almost a family member.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES: You can say something bad about Donald Trump, and you'll go down to two years or three years, it's called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: There was a safe, a safe with secrets about the now President of the United States.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: There was a case where they paid a doorman at the Trump organization to silence the story that he wanted to tell about an alleged affair.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: There's a lot of interesting information on a lot of important people. UNIDENTIFED MALE: I want to turn to Senator John McCain and his

decision to end his cancer treatment.

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: He is a fighter, he doesn't stop moving, he's like a shark. He can't stop moving.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: At some point you say, "Look, the treatment's not working, or risk and toll that these treatments are taking on my body are greater than the benefits."


UNIDENTIFED MALE: This is "New Day" weekend with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Well, the weekend is bringing no relief for President Trump after some are calling the worst week of his presidency.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: He has been hit by bad headline after bad headline. And now, we are learning this, some details from the former doorman at Trump World Tower claims he has knowledge of a child President Trump fathered out of wedlock.

Now CNN's obtained a copy of a contract the doorman signed with American Median Inc., that's the parent company of the "National Enquirer", the same company that allegedly paid off former playboy model, Karen McDougal, in order to keep her allegations of an affair with Trump from being published.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Ryan Nobles joins us now from the White House. Ryan, this former doorman says that he was not free to speak about this contract, this deal, until now. Why is he free to speak now?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Victor, and that's the important part of this story, not so much the salacious details that he claims, but the fact that he is no longer bound by an agreement that he signed with AMI, the parent company of the "National Enquirer" not to talk about it.

This was a deal that he signed back in 2015, it paid him $33,000 to keep quiet and it also came with a penalty of $1 million if he did tell his story. But now his attorney telling CNN this week that AMI had lifted that prohibition on him talking and he is now able speak about it freely.

And what this doorman, Dino Sajudin, claims is that while he was a doorman, he was able to obtain information and evidence of an affair that Donald Trump was involved in that led to the birth of a child. He was paid $33,000 to keep this quiet.

Now, it's important to point out that there are other news organizations that have looked into this claim by Mr. Sajudin and have not found it to be credible. But what this tells us is that this could be a crack in this long-term relationship that the President of the United States has with AMI, a pattern of holding on to stories that were potentially damaging about the President or the Trump organization, that they kept locked literally in a safe and prevented from getting out.

And if they have allowed this particular individual to come forward and tell his story, could there be other stories out there of this ilk? And does it demonstrate a bigger problem in the relationship with the President and David Pecker, who is the head of AMI, who we know had an immunity deal with authorities to talk about what he knows about the President. Victor and Christi?

PAUL: Yes, he had an immunity deal. Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization's Chief Financial Officer also has an immunity deal. We know that President Trump values loyalty. Has the White House said anything about these two instances, specifically, which have to seem like betrayals?

NOBLES: No, they haven't, Christi. And the President has talked a little bit about Michael Cohen, who is the third member of the triumphant who have - who has decided to turn on the President to a certain extent. He talked in an interview with "Fox and Friends" about how he despises people who flip and even suggested that flipping should be illegal.

So loyalty is important to the President. So he cannot be happy about the fact that two of his close associates in David pecker and Allen Weisselberg have decided to cooperate with authorities. We should point out though, that we don't know the extent of their cooperation.

ON SCREEN TEXT: Allen Weisselberg's Role as Top Trump Organization Official. Overseeing Trump's personal transactions, Trump organization finances. Handling bank dealings, other important matters. Arranging Trump's checks. Has prepared Trump's tax returns.

NOBLES: There's a good chance that it could be contained specifically to the investigation into Michael Cohen and it may not extend any further. In fact, with Weisselberg, in particular, we are told it did just involve that cooperation and that his immunity extended to that point. But many legal experts say that, once you begin cooperation with federal authorities, that cooperation is open ended and at any point you could be brought into -- be asked questions in the future.

So the question is, Victor and Christi, will Robert Mueller be interested in talking to either of these two men and could that be included in his investigation? That's a question we don't have the answer to as of this morning.

PAUL: All righty, Ryan Nobles, thank you so much for breaking it all down for us.

BLACKWELL: Let's dig deeper now. Joining me, Wesley Lowery, national reporter for "The Washington Post," and Page Pate, CNN Legal Analyst and Criminal Defense Attorney. Gentlemen, welcome back to "New Day" Saturday.


BLACKWELL: Okay, so we just heard the reporting on this deal with the doorman at Trump World Tower. I want to put the allegations aside for a moment and their credibility. But that this man was -- did have a deal, a contract with AMI and has now been released from it, from a legal perspective, who does this help? Does it behoove AMI to release this man now?

PATE: Absolutely, Victor, and I think that's what's going on here. I mean, we don't really know the details of why they are doing this, but it is absolutely possible in fact, to me, it's likely that Pecker or someone within that organization was either told by their legal counsel or by the U.S. Attorney's office, you need to back off of these deals, because if we're interested in talking to these people about what they know and you try to keep them quite, that could be viewed as obstruction.

So these deals where, if you talk, you got to pay us $1 million, that's problematic for law enforcement. So I think they're listening to either legal advice or they are hearing from prosecutors, you need to undo these deals and let these people be interviewed and let them tell their stories.

BLACKWELL: Wesley, when the questions started to come to the White House about Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal and there were these full throated denials from the President's supporters, from his Press Secretary.

And then as time went on, the truth came out, that the President knew about the payments and the President, this week said, they came from me. So when the White House eventually answers questions about this contract with this doorman, they're going to have a struggle convincing people.

WESLEY LOWERY, NATIONAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Of course, well, there is a real credibility question here, right? Where we've heard several versions of the story from the White House and each time we receive additional information, we find out the last version definitely probably wasn't true.

Beyond that, I mean, we have to remember at the core, I think it's hard to or it's easy to forget sometimes at the core, the President has denied ever having any affair with Stephanie Clifford, you know, known as Stormy Daniels.

And I think the more evidence we've seen, now that we know, not only that this payment was made but the President knew about it in advance, it becomes -- it starts to challenge any semblance of believability that the core denial here, that this affair even ever happened is believable.

What I think is interesting though, both with these contracts today as well as what we saw with Michael Cohen, is that the President has obviously built kind of a series of protections around him, folks who are bounds by non-disclosures, folks who he believes he had attorney/client privilege with. And what we've seen here, as to the federal investigations and various other investigations, is that law enforcement is tearing those things down piece by piece.

And so, while the President thought that he had this kind of extreme protection, these folks who wouldn't flip on him, who wouldn't turn on him, things that he told his attorney that perhaps he didn't even know were recorded, and now end up in the hands of law enforcement.

So it really doesn't seem to portend very well for the President moving forward, because so many of these layers of his infrastructure around him now appear to either be cooperating with law enforcement, or law enforcement has obtained the evidence they need anyway.

BLACKWELL: So Page, to you, Paul Manafort as we know was found guilty of eight felonies this week. There was a mistrial determined on ten of the felonies that he was charged with.

There is a second trial coming in September in Washington DC and prosecutors want to introduce the famous ostrich and python jackets and the Cashmere jeans and all of these things into evidence. Is this effective, do you think?

PATE: I don't think so, Victor. I think the prosecution overdid it in the last trial and the judge told them so. I mean, at some point, you want to distance the jury from the defendant. You want them to think, "Hey, he's not like us. He's this rich guy, he is breaking the law, why should we care about it?"

But you can overdo it. I think we heard from one of the jurors in the first Manafort trial say, "Look, we didn't want to find him guilty. It's not because we didn't like Paul Manafort. It's because of the evidence."

So as a good prosecutor, you focus back on the documents, you focus on what he clearly did wrong, and you let the jury make the determination. That's what happened in the Manafort trial, but he wasn't found guilty because of his taste in clothing.

BLACKWELL: Wesley, there is a consensus that this week is a contender for the worst week of the Trump administration thus far. My question is, who has this moved? The people who support the President, do any of them now not support the President?

Those who were against the President, do they -- where has anybody come down on a different side of the line this week than they have earlier, and does this change the President's value moving into November?

LOWERY: I think that this is among the worst weeks of this presidency, not necessarily because of the PR or the blowback but in large part it became clear or was underscored, this President is actually facing a real legal and criminal liability, at least his administration is, right?

And you have folks who were so high up in his campaign as well as his personal attorney, now both convicted felons. It speaks to a depth. Now, I think there is two things. Do I think the President's core base is going to be moved by this? No, I don't. And I think that the polling we've seen thus far, as well as the

anecdotal evidences in conversations we've had thus far, lead us kind of reasonably conclude that, if you are in Trump's camp still, you are probably staying in Trump's camp.

But that said, I do think that and I was interested to see some kind of middle-of-the-road Republicans, some moderate Republicans, even folks who have never been Trump before, who are taking this a step further than they had previously. You had some mainstream Republicans calling for impeachment or removal, which was something that previously we had only heard from Democrats, and Democrats who are seen as pretty further Left.

And so I do think there is some movement. The key to the Trump presidency right now and its longevity is not his supporters, but rather it's the Republicans that have kind of been go along to get along who maybe haven't liked him and maybe have said that, but who's fallen and stopped far short of actually calling for his removal from office. If those folks continue moving, that could -- again, that could change the game.

BLACKWELL: All right, Wesley Lowery, Page Pate, thank you both.

PATE: Thank you.

PAUL: So, stay close here because tributes to a living legend are pouring in. We've learned that Senator John McCain is no longer of course undergoing treatment for brain cancer. We are live from his home state in Arizona. Stay close.



JOHN MCCAIN, SENATOR, ARIZONA: It's not been perfect service to be sure and there were probably times when the country might have benefited little less of my help. But I've tried to deserve the privilege as best I can.

And I have been repaid a thousand times over with adventures, with good company, with the satisfaction of serving something more important than myself, of being a big player in the extraordinary story of America, and I am so grateful.


BLACKWELL: That, of course, is Senator John McCain. He is known for his tireless service to and his sacrifice for his country. And news that he is discontinuing cancer treatment was met with sadness from lawmakers in Washington and supporters across the country. The 81- year-old Senator has been battling brain cancer for more than a year now.

And as the Senator writes in his memoir of his life, it has been "quite a ride." Joining me now, Stephanie Elam in Sedona. Stephanie, what are you hearing from the people there in Arizona who know the Senator best?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN REPORTER: Well, when you take a look at the last year for the Senator and his family, this has obviously been a very difficult time. But pretty much true to McCain's style, he's done things the way that he wanted to. I mean, if you look back at the Senator's life, and you look at his political career, you look at the times that he really stuck by his guns and stuck by what he believed in, even if it wasn't popular.

And so it seems that this transition is being handled in much the same way, the family putting out a statement. In part, I just want to read this one part, since they've known that he has been battling this cancer for over a year, saying, "In the years since, John has surpassed expectations for his survival, but the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict."

And so we have seen the Senator, even as recently as July, speaking out on what he is seeing in politics, saying when he agrees with the President or not, still speaking out and doing that all the way up here to where we are now. And keep in mind, we are four days away from his 82nd birthday.

But it's clear that this has been a concerted effort with the Senator's family as well. His wife Cindy McCain tweeting, "I love my husband with all my heart. God bless everyone who cared for my husband along the journey." Megan McCain also tweeting out her love and support for people who have reached out with their commentary about their feelings and love for the Senator.

But would you take a look at what he's meant for Arizona, where he has run for the Senate, I believe, four times. He also ran to be President twice. This is a man who, whether you believe with his beliefs or not, clearly loves America and is truly a patriot. And you can see that outpouring here at this time, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Indeed, well wishes from around the world, in fact. Stephanie Elam for us in Sedona this morning, Stephanie, thank you.

PAUL: Well, moments ago, Pope Francis addressed the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal. He did it during the first papal visit to Ireland in nearly 40 years. We are going to tell you what he said. Stay close.


PAUL: Feels good to wake up on a Saturday morning, doesn't it? Hopefully you don't have a lot to do, I'm Christi Paul and it's 24 minutes past the hour.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell, good Saturday morning to you.

PAUL: So moments ago, Pope Francis addressed the latest sexual abuse allegations that have come across the Catholic Church. And he said, in part, "I acknowledge the grave scandal caused in Ireland by the abuse of minors by members of the Church charged with responsibility for their protection and education." BLACKWELL: Now, this is the first papal visit to Ireland in almost

four decades. His visit comes, as he just mentioned, the clerical sexual abuse survivors across the world look to the church for answers and action. Joining us now from Dublin is CNN correspondent, Phil Black.

So we read that excerpt from the Pope's remarks. What else did he say?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So much of expectation, Victor and Christi, about what the Pope is going to say on this issue in particular. It was a reasonably long welcome speech and he got to the issue of clerical sexual abuse eventually.

It was buried pretty deep into the speech, which I think will be one point of disappointment for the victims in this country. But he talked about acknowledging the crimes committed by members of the church and importantly, the suffering that it's caused and beyond that the failure of members of the church in order to deal with this adequately.

Let's take a listen now to what the Pope said here at Dublin Castle, just a short time ago.


POPE FRANCIS (through translator): The failure of ecclesiastical authorities, bishops, religious superiors, priests and others, to adequately address these appalling crimes has rightly given rise to outrage, and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community. I, myself, share those sentiments.


BLACK: So he acknowledged the appalling crimes, the suffering that it has caused, the outrage that that's caused here too as well, particularly because of the failure of the church and members of its hierarchy to deal with the issue appropriately.

But crucially, although he referenced efforts to prevent it from happening again, he didn't go into detail about precisely what the church is doing on that front. And as you touched on earlier, that's really what the people in this country want to hear. The response from victims and leadup to this visit has been, time for words has really passed, what they want is action.

They want concrete proposals and policies to be implemented and enforced by the Pope and the Vatican on the global Catholic Church that prevents this sort of abuse from happening again, and crucially punishes those who abused and those who protected the abusers. We haven't gotten that from the Pope on this first speech.

But he will be speaking a number of times again over the coming days, and I think there will be hope that he deals with it more forcefully than what we've heard in these opening remarks here today.

PAUL: All right. Phil Black, thank you so much. Also, the Pope is going to be taking questions later today. We will have more on that during 10:00 a.m. hour. So as Pope Francis is facing the fallout of the Catholic Church's alleged sins, there are survivors of sex abuse who are very bravely coming forward after that scathing grand jury report out of Pennsylvania.

BLACKWELL: Authorities across multiple states are standing with those survivors, are striving for justice and it's happening bit by bit. Here's CNN's Rosa Flores.


JUDY LORENZ, LEADER, SNAP: My husband was sexually abused by a priest.

BECKY IANNI, DC AND VIRGINIA LEADER, SNAP: I am a victim of clergy abuse.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Survivors of clerical sex abuse from across the nation are pushing for justice after the explosive revelations in the Pennsylvania Attorney General's report, which showed credible allegations that more than 300 predator priests had sexually abused more than 1,000 children, and authorities in multiple states appear to be listening.

In Illinois, the Attorney General is meeting with the Chicago Archdiocese as a direct consequence of the report. The Attorney General in Missouri launched a review of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

NICOLE GOROVSKY, ATTORNEY: We believe that we have exactly the same issues as they have in Pennsylvania.

FLORES: And in Cheyenne, Wyoming, police have reopened a criminal investigation into a church official. While investigators won't release the name because of Wyoming law, the diocese of Cheyenne restricted the activities of retired Bishop Joseph Hart, citing credible and substantiated claims of sexual abuse.

Wyoming has no statute of limitations and neither does the Vatican, which according to the diocese, will now determine whether this new evidence is sufficient for disciplinary action against Bishop Hart. Bishop Hart has denied all allegations of abuse. CNN's calls and e- mails to Hart and his attorney have not been returned.

TERRY MCKIERNAN, FOUNDER, BISHOPACCOUNTABILITY.ORG: There's a lot of sadness in these file cabinets, right.

FLORES: Terry McKiernan from the victim's advocacy group, Bishop Accountability says that criminal prosecution of clergy is very rare, leaving survivors seeking justice in civil courts.

MCKIERNAN: Not only is it a place where survivors get what justice they can, but it's also the place where pressure is created for positive change.

FLORES: At least $3.8 billion has been paid out since the '80s across the nation in lawsuits and claims involving allegations of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, says McKiernan. MCKIERNAN: Change is not happening because the church is reforming.

Change is happening because survivors are coming forward and forcing the church to reform.

FLORES: Another form of justice is spreading around the country. At the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, the names of three bishops are coming off buildings. In Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl's name is being removed from a High School named after him, after he was named in the report.

DONALD WUERL, ARCHBISHOP, WASHINGTON: All right. Good to see all of you.

FLORES: Wuerl has said he did everything he could at the time. And from the Vatican, an apology from Pope Francis calling the abuses outlined in the Pennsylvania report crimes.

MCKIERNAN: The Pope's letter, I think it's safe to say, has really fallen flat.

FLORES: For survivors who are still haunted by the horrors of the abuse, justice is far from reality.

JIM VANSICKLE, SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY PENNSYLVANIA PRIEST: All of these different abuses, they stay with us. We continually think about it and re-abuse ourselves in silence.

FLORES: Rosa Flores, CNN, Miami.


PAUL: And President Trump's dealing with a deluge of negative headlines this week. The latest, a former doorman at Trump World Tower claims he has knowledge of a child President Trump fathered with a housekeeper and he is now, he says, free to talk about it. We will talk about it, stay close.


PAUL: It's been a tough week for President Trump. We are learning now some new details from the former doorman at Trump World Tower. He claims that he has knowledge of a child President Trump fathered with a housekeeper after an affair.

Plus, these other headlines of course this week, the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen cases. The, let's say, tough words against his Attorney General Jeff Sessions and of course, top Trump Organization official, Allen Weisselberg being granted full immunity.

These "Time" covers, take a look, from the last few months, might give us a good idea of what President Trump is dealing with right now. With us, Republican Congressman, Leonard Lance of New Jersey. Congressman, thank you for taking the time to be with us.

LEONARD LANCE, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, NEW JERSEY: Thank you for having me, Christi. PAUL: Sure. I want ask you first about the silence we seem to hear

from the GOP amongst all of the headlines that we've seen so far this week. Why are we not hearing more, except for the President?

LANCE: I am certainly not silent. And I think we have to protect the Mueller investigation. I am the lead sponsor of that legislation in the House of Representatives. And I think it's very important for the Mueller investigation to continue unimpeded, not impeded by the White House or by us in Congress or by the public, and I hope that the Mueller investigation will reach its conclusion.

PAUL: You did -- I want to actually read a tweet just so people understand your position fully. You tweeted this week, "The convictions of Manafort and Cohen only bolster my belief that the Special Counsel must be allowed to finish his investigation unimpeded by pressure from the White House, elected officials or the public. I am the lead sponsor of legislation protecting the Mueller investigation." How much Republican support have you had to back Mueller's process to conclusion?

LANCE: We've had support and I would imagine we will garner even more support based upon what has happened this week, Christi.

PAUL: OK, so in light of that, of you taking the lead on this, I want to read to you a tweet that came out this morning from Rudy Giuliani, the President's lawyer, of course. He wrote, "Just a few days before a 60-day run-up to 2018 elections, if Mueller wants to show he's not a partisan, then issue a report on collusion and obstruction. They will show President Trump did nothing wrong. Then we will have to admit you were fair, and we will."

What would you say to Rudy Giuliani, if you could sit down with him, knowing where you stand and the fact that they seem to be pushing this to a conclusion?

LANCE: I rely on the integrity of Mr. Mueller and I hope he reaches his conclusions as quickly as possible. But I do not intend to rush him in anyway.

PAUL: Okay. I wanted to listen, if we could, to President Trump. He was in Ohio, last night and listen to what he said, particularly about the Mollie Tibbetts case. She of course the Iowa 20-year-old who disappeared and this week her body was found.


TRUMP: When they found out that it was this horrible illegal immigrant that viciously killed her, all of a sudden that story went down. They didn't want to cover it the way it should have been covered. But what happened to Mollie was a disgrace.


PAUL: We also have Newt Gingrich to "Axios" sent this note. He said, "If Mollie Tibbetts is a household name by October, Democrats will be in deep trouble." What is your reaction to the thought process? Do you support using Mollie Tibbetts as a strategy as we head into mid-terms?

LANCE: I think that innocence and guilt are individual in this country and not based upon any group, and therefore, I want to treat everybody as an individual, Christi. And this was a horrific crime and, of course, the perpetrators should be brought to justice. But I do not want to paint with a broader brush.

PAUL: You don't want to do that, but what do you make of fellow Republicans who do want to use that as a strategy?

LANCE: I think that we should reform our immigration laws and I was one of the Republicans who signed a discharge petition in the House, to bring to the floor of the House, legislation regarding the DACA population. That's a portion of all of this.

And I hope that we can have immigration reform as quickly as possible. Certainly, I want to secure our Southern border. I do not think the two matters are mutually exclusive.

PAUL: David Jolly, a Republican and former Florida Congressman, said earlier this week, I think it was yesterday actually on CNN, that he believed there will be an open inquiry in January to examine either corruption or impeachment of this President. Do you agree that something like that is imminent?

LANCE: That may occur in the new term. I think we have to await the results of the Mueller investigation and I want the Mueller investigation to proceed unimpeded.

PAUL: OK. But you don't know of anyone who is preparing any sort of corruption or impeachment inquiry?

LANCE: We did have a vote on impeachment earlier this year and it didn't receive many votes in the House, and I think we await the conclusion of the Mueller investigation.

PAUL: OK. And real quickly, President Trump, of course, has had pretty public rebuke of Jeff Sessions this week. Do you think the Attorney General needs to step away?

LANCE: Absolutely not. I support the Department of Justice, I was the first Republican in the House to say that the Attorney General should recuse himself regarding matters related to Russia. He did that. I support the Deputy Attorney General and as a result of that the appointment of Mr. Mueller.

PAUL: All right. Congressman, Leonard Lance, thank you for taking the time for us today, sir.

LANCE: Thank you very much.

PAUL: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: The threat from one of the biggest weather events to slam Hawaii is not over. The people who live there has been warned to stay where they are, as dangerous mudslides and torrents of rain from Tropical Storm Lane move in.


PAUL: Hi, it's Christi and we were talking to Representative Leonard Lance of New Jersey. We just asked him how he feels about Jeff Sessions, if he thinks that with all the public rebuke from the President, if Jeff Sessions should sit down or should step down.

The President just tweeting about that saying, "Jeff Sessions said he wouldn't allow politics to influence him only because he doesn't understand what's happening underneath his command position. Highly conflicted Bob Mueller and his gang of 17 angry Dems are having a field day, as real corruption goes untouched. No collusion."

BLACKWELL: Yes, and signed, yours truly, no collusion. The President here, again, is going after Jeff Sessions. And he is suggesting the Attorney General would be political or would include political influence if he only understood what was going on in his department.

Of course, the President got that strong response from Jeff Sessions earlier this week, when he said that he is in control of the Department of Justice and that he will not allow the Attorney - the political influence to take over.

The President just tweeting again, quoting Lindsay Graham here, on every President deserving Attorney General they have confidence in.

We will continue to talk about this and here from California, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher who said something last night saying that, if Jeff Sessions is not going to do what the President wants him to do, he should just quit. We are going to talk about that in the 10 o' clock hour.

All right, the tropical storm Lane, let's talk about that, is swamping parts of Hawaii with heavy rain. More than 40 inches of rain in some areas, and it's expected to get worse today.

PAUL: This is a deluge that's triggering dangerous flash flooding and mudslides. As you see from the pictures that we are getting in here, this is the biggest storm in decades to hit the state, the sixth wettest tropical system on U.S. record.

CNN's Nick Watt is in Honolulu. Nick, what are you experiencing right now?


NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Honolulu, as the mayor has said, has dodged a bullet. The storm has now started moved West, out into the ocean and away from this major population center, nearly a million people live here, and that was really one of the big fears here. Also all these hotels, all these apartment blocks right next to the beach.

There was a storm surge, there's a lot of rain, that could have caused some major problems. We've also just heard that the flash flood warning on Maui has been lifted. It's really the big islands further South that bore the brunt of this storm.

One weather station reported 44.8 inches of rain. And as you mentioned, the sixth wettest storm ever to hit the U.S. I would imagine that by the time this is over, it's going to climb that chart just a little bit higher. We have also seen one of the strangest aspects of this was three brush fires on Maui that were whipped by those winds, jumped a hurricane, they have -- jumped a highway, I'm sorry.

They have all now been contained around homes. One of those fires was still burning last night, but up into the hills, so that was safe. This has been a slow moving storm over the past day, which has been a blessing and a curse.

A blessing in that it's lost some power, so the trade winds have been able to push it out away from the islands, but a curse because moving slowly just a few miles now, it's been dumping so much rain down there on the big island; it's just saturated. So any more rain is going to be a flash flood and cause more problems there throughout today. Guys, back to you.


BLACKWELL: All right, Nick Watt. Thank you so much.

PAUL: Well, China and the United States are embattled in a trade war.

The world's two largest economies launching competing tariffs on each other over China's trade practices. We are going to take a look at how this affects you.


BLACKWELL: All right, time now for Start Small, Dream Big. A non- profit organization in California is dedicated to helping children and young adults hone their writing skills, it's called the Pirate Store and its success is now spreading across the country. Look.


NINIVE CALEGARI, CO- FOUNDER, 826 VALENCIA: I'm Mexican American so it was really important to me to be able to work directly with the Latino community and be in a neighborhood where all kids would benefit from undivided attention.

My name is Ninive Calegari, I'm the co-founder of 826 Valencia, and welcome to the Pirate Store. The Pirate Store was born in order to meet the zoning regulation. The original intention of 826 Valencia was to have a tutoring center, where authors and professionals in the community could interact with young people.

And when this specific space was found, it's in a perfect neighbourhood, in the heart of San Francisco, but it required a store selling items.

The idea of having an open door out to the community, where people could come in and enter this magical, whimsical, ridiculous place, caught on. So we use that exact model when we opened all the other sites. For example, in New York, it's superheroes and then Chicago is another example where there's a spy store and it's called the Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply. And really what we're about is helping young people improve their writing skills.

But first they feel welcome, so that spirit of joyfulness, I think is hard to pull off without an absolutely crazy store.


PAUL: Well, this week, the two largest economies launched a full- fledged trade war.

The United States slapping 25% tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods. Some of the 279 items targeted chemicals, motorcycles, semiconductors, aluminium.

China immediately hit back with tariffs on the same amount of American goods. Products such as fuel, steel, automobiles and coal.

What does this mean for you, though, as you sit there this morning? Well, let's ask our guest here. Ambassador Robert Holleyman, he's a former Deputy U.S. Trade Representative from 2014 to 2017 under President Obama. Currently, he's the President and CEO of C&M International. Ambassador, thank you so much, we appreciate you being here.


PAUL: You are welcome. So, the Trump administration launched this effort, of course, to punish China for what he says are unfair trade practices, such as stealing intellectual property. Was there a shift that was needed to try to balance things out?

HOLLEYMAN: Well, President Trump said that trade wars are good and trade wars are easy to win. I disagree on both. Certainly, there are major problems with China that need to be rectified. What we now need to do, having launched this trade war. This is the second round of tariffs. We are now at $50 billion of products from China that were subject to tariffs. We are looking at another $200 billion that will be subject to taxes. So the numbers are quite large.

What that means is to get the kind of change that we need in China. There is a sacrifice that's being asked of the American people by the President that will lead to higher prices, will reduce the productivity of some companies, and we'll probably have U.S. companies who may go out of business in the process. So trade wars, while I would not have gotten into it, they are not easy to win and we should be buckling our seatbelts for the long haul in this.

PAUL: Do you anticipate there will be job losses?

HOLLEYMAN: Well, there absolutely will be anticipated job losses, particularly, if we add another $200 billion in products to these 25% taxes. The challenge about a tariff is it sounds like we're punishing China. And by the way, China has a lot of problems that need to be rectified.

But what we're doing is we're actually raising the costs on American consumers, American businesses, who do not have ready alternatives for other places to go for their products. And so, the challenge in this is we're trying to get fundamental change in China, which is needed.

They need to open up their economy, they need to allow American hi- tech companies and others to be successful there, without having forced partnerships, aiming to protect intellectual property.

HOLLEYMAN: But to accomplish that now that we've started this war around using taxes on Americans to do that, we have to buckle down and recognize that getting the fundamental change is neither going to be fast, it's not going to be easy, and clearly and there will be costs in the American consumers and American businesses.

PAUL: So for the people who are sitting at home watching this today, what effect will they feel long term, what effect will they feel short term?

HOLLEYMAN: Well, it would be great if we could resolve this quickly, but it does not appear that we are on that path. So they'll see two things happen. One, they will either see the costs of some of their goods go up, particularly as U.S. companies look to see if there is another source of supply than China.

And secondly, some U.S. companies who have supply chains coming from China may have to downsize their plans for future growth.

There could be some job layoffs, particularly in companies where there are tight margins, where they don't have an ability to pass this extra 25% tax on to their consumers. So we will see a lot of dislocation, which is why in this new round of $200 billion of products, we've seen 300-something companies testifying just this week.

And in the next week, small businesses, large businesses, who are looking at the impact on their work force, on their productivity and on what they will charge their consumers. So this is something that is an important fight.

This is not the way I would have chosen to do it. But it is something that all Americans are going to be asked to pay for. And now that we're in this fight, we have to secure the fundamental changes that are needed from China.

PAUL: All right. Robert Holleyman, we appreciate you being here, Ambassador, thank you.

HOLLEYMAN: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Well, there is more news straight ahead.

PAUL: Smerconish is up next, we're going to see you again in one hour, for CNN Newsroom.